‘Tis the season for… disclosure?
TikTok has today released its latest Content Removal Requests Report, which details all of the uploads that it took action against in the first half of the year due to violations of its community guidelines or other official and/or legal request.
In addition to this, TikTok has also launched a new Transparency Center, which will become the home of all of its transparency reports going forward, making it easier to keep tabs on historical trends in one place.
The benefit of having all of these reports on a single platform is that you can now easily cross-check against previous numbers to see trends and changes in TikTok’s enforcement efforts.
For example, in the second quarter of this year, TikTok removed more content in the US than any other region, which is in line with historical trends in previous reports.
As you can see here, the US lead the way in Q2 2021, with 11.4m videos removed due to varying violations, with Pakistan coming in second (9.9m) then Brazil (7.5m).
The same three nations have been at the top of this listing in TikTok’s previous three reports, with fewer violations, overall, detected in Q1 this year.
The new Transparency Center makes it easier to view historic shifts, and compare the platform’s enforcement efforts over time.
In terms of the reasons for removals, in Q2, ‘Minor Safety’ was the top issue, accounting for 41.3% of total removals, followed by ‘Illegal activities and regulated goods’ (20.9%), ‘Adult nudity and sexual activities’ (14%), and ‘Violent and Graphic Content’ (7.7%).
As always, proactive detection measures enable TikTok to ensure that the majority of violative content is removed before any users see it, while TikTok has also been working to improve its enforcement of fake profiles, a rising problem as it becomes a bigger consideration for influence activity.
“We continue to evolve and adapt our safeguards by investing in automated defenses to detect, block, and remove inauthentic accounts and engagement, and by improving our speed and response to evolving threats. From April-June, we stopped 148,759,987 fake accounts from being created. We also removed 8,542,037 videos posted by spam accounts.”
Again, with users increasingly looking to utilize their influence for monetary gain, and disingenuous actors seeking to sway public opinion via social media platforms, fake and inauthentic profiles become a larger problem the bigger your platform gets, and it’ll be interesting to track TikTok’s enforcement efforts on this front to get some perspective on the amount of fakes seeking to infiltrate its network.
Also, this is something:
Russia submitted 1,898 removal or restriction requests in the period, a massive increase in calls for TikTok to address certain concerns. Russia also fined TikTok earlier in the year for failing to remove content related to political protests, and it seems that as TikTok has become more influential in the region, the Kremlin has also started paying more attention, and could be seeking to use TikTok’s removal process to quell perceived dissent. It’ll be interesting to see whether this trend continues.
It’s a good update for TikTok’s transparency reports, which provides oversight into various aspects of its enforcement processes, and where it’s seeing more activity. Of course, this is only recorded violations, and there is a chance that some issues can still slip through the cracks, but it does help to provide some more insight into how TikTok is working to address various threats and issues.